How To Make Money With Music

Generating income or monetizing work poses a big challenge for musicians anywhere. In this technology driven world, selling music becomes harder and harder each year. The competition is not the only thing that’s stiff, but the music evolution and audience are much harder to please. There are more genres, more artists and other complex ways of selling stuff. You always need to be ahead of the curb and you must be knowledgeable of today’s way of making money off from music.

The old ways of marketing music such as playing gigs and demos can’t be relied on heavily nowadays. You could still earn through this method but face it, earning this way will never be enough to compensate your monthly needs and it is physically draining too, touring from city to city each day.

There are multiple ways to earn money with music. Well tackle each one and differentiate what’s best suited for you and your band.

Live Shows – Truth be told, this method can still bring in a good payday if you can sell tickets or attract a good number of crowd to attend your gig. It’s not the most reliable option but it could suffice for some. One of the good things though is the spread of word and referrals which could land you another show in the near future.

Cover Gigs – For some musicians, doing a cover gig is draining and it doesn’t really help you in promoting your band. That may be true, but the need for cover gigs around the country is still high. This method could still bring in a good amount of money if you get hired by the right people. The audience and event will vary from a children’s party, bars, restaurants, corporate meetings, weddings, etc. The problem is, for most independent musicians, you can never really choose your audience when you do cover gigs.

CD Sales and Demos – If you’re going to play gigs or a live show, be sure to have a demo at hand. There are still audiences that would buy them in person and it’s a good way to earn a little extra income. Don’t rely on this method heavily though as the physical sales are declining steadily in the past few years.

Music Lessons – This could be a very good extra income for musicians. Although music sessions only run a couple times a week, earning a little extra income would be a big help to you. You can teach people on how to play multiple instruments and create a friendly bond with your students. It also allows you to hone your craft as well.

There’s no doubt that the ways stated above could earn you extras. However, there are a few more methods on how to make money in music and these are more money generating if done accordingly. You need to understand that the music industry in constantly evolving together with today’s technology. While the physical sales and direct marketing are still in play today, there’s no denying that the audience who are listening and buying are opting for the convenient way, which means buying music from the comforts of their home or anywhere they may be at.

Music Licensing – This would truly enhance your chances of getting a big payday and you could even get a recurring payment if you license your music. Music licensing is the licensed use of copyrighted music. If you are an owner of a copyrighted music, you are ensured of compensation if your music is used by others. The fees also vary differently and can be negotiated. With more TV shows, commercials, films, movies and games today, the need for licensed music is at an all time high. Different industries need music content to their businesses.

YouTube – There’s no denying that this is the site to go to listen and watch all the tracks or news you’ve missed out for the past week or so. Businesses, movies, games and a lot more are campaigning through this site today. Did you know that you could get paid if it is proven that other people are using your music content for their own advertisements? YouTube has a content ID system which tracks duplicate music content and videos through their database. But before all that, you need to get your music licensed first.

Streaming – Music streaming is a big hit today. With the inevitable fall or the physical and digital sales for the past few years, streaming has gained a significant rise and will continue to do so in the next decade as people opt for this method. The worldwide streaming revenue is on the rise, outperforming digital sales and physical sales altogether. Streaming doesn’t require the downloaded files of music or videos so it doesn’t consume any space for your computers or smart phones. It is overly convenient for people nowadays as they could listen to any track from anywhere and anytime. If you got your music licensed, explore the possibilities of streaming as this is the way to go not only for today but for the future as well.

Making money off from music is complex and you need to be extra innovative as this profession has always been competitive in every aspect. Do not hesitate to license your music as the door it unlocks has unlimited possibilities and opportunities. If you want to learn more about music licensing and how to make money with music, check out my website, http://silverscreenmusician.com. See you there!

How To License Your Music

Music is a big part of civilization. Centuries had passed but music survived and even grew to greater heights every single decade. As a matter of fact, the demand of music has been rising very steadily in the past 10 years and it will continue that way in the foreseeable future. It comes along with the big amount of revenue the music industry is currently getting year after year. It is an unstoppable force as people always look up for the next great artist around the corner, thus continuing the cycle and the relevance of music. The demand of music content is at an all time high. The global music revenue since the turn of the century has been steady. The currency is measured in billions.

As the technology grew, music got more technical, complex and in demand. Others take credit for using music they don’t own. Nowadays, independent musicians are well aware of protecting their work for legal purposes. Through music licensing, you can be ensured of your asset/work being protected legally.

What is music licensing? Music licensing is the licensed used for copyrighted music. This allows the owner of the music to maintain the copyright of their original work. It also ensures the owner of the musical work to be compensated if their music is being used by others. The music licensing companies has limited rights to use the work without separate agreements. In music licensing, you could get your work licensed in the form of music, composition and songwriting.

During the music licensing process, there are terms that would be discussed by the groups involved. If you are an independent musician, you would be the licensor. You are the one responsible of the music created, thus you are the copyright owner of the licensed work. A licensee would be the music licensing company as they would be the one who will distribute your work to other industries. They will also collect the royalty fees as distribute them back to you if your music is included in live performances, TV shows, ads, campaigns, video games, etc.

There are also two kinds of contracts in music licensing, namely exclusive contract and non-exclusive contract. Exclusive contract means having your work licensed exclusively to a single music licensing company. Only a single company has the authority to distribute and market your work. If you signed an exclusive contract to your song or album, you cannot use the same music contents and get it signed by other music licensing companies. The agreement is exclusive and confidential to the licensor and the licensee.

Non-exclusive contract allows a second party to distribute your work and it doesn’t prohibit the licensor to sell their music to other music licensing companies or licensees. An independent musician can sign a non-exclusive contract to multiple companies using the same music content. Non-exclusive contracts are generally used to prevent an individual from being locked into a restrictive contract before their work gains popularity. This type of contract is designed to protect music artists from being taken advantage of in the early stages of their respective careers while on the process of getting their music out to larger audiences.

There are also cases which involves direct payment for used music content. This is called Sync Fees. Sync fee is a license granted by a holder of a copyrighted music to allow a licensee to synchronize music with visual media such as ads, films, TV shows, movie trailers, video games, etc. For example, a video producer is in dire need of music content for a certain project and is in a limited time of finding one.

In these cases, the artist and the music licensing company will be contacted directly for the possible use of the original work and negotiate the upfront payment involved. Sync fees can range from a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars or up to thousands. The payment usually depends on how big and established a company is. If it is a well known company, there is a probability that the sync fee will spike up in value.

We need to understand that businesses nowadays are paying premium for music at an all time high. The influx and revenue generated on different industries are worth billions of dollars and the music artists who got their music licensed will get a big share of that money. The content of music is very important. Every single company need visual and audio content. You can’t do ads, shows and movies without having any music content.

Music licensing brings compensation for assets used. This is called royalty fees. A royalty fee is the payment collected by one party from another for the ongoing use of a copyrighted asset. You can get compensated if your work is featured on live public performances. For every live use of your music, you get compensated as you own the copyright of your work.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has collected over $941 million dollars in licensing fees and distributed $827.7 million dollars in royalties to its members back in 2014. BMI on the other hand, collected more than $1.013 billion dollars in license fees and distributed over $877 million dollars in royalties to its members during the year 2015.

Music licensing is the modern way of earning through music. In the past few years, the physical sales had gone down. Streaming music has taken over because it’s more convenient and practical with the help of the World Wide Web. With the rise of streaming sales, the figures that could be collected as royalty fees could spike up in the years coming. In fact, as stated in an Australian financial review website, streaming generated $2.5 billion dollars in US music sales last year, overtaking digital downloads as the industry’s biggest source of music revenue. As stated in the picture below, the global streaming of music is projected to reach greater heights in terms of revenue in the upcoming years.

The internet contributed greatly for the rise of music licensing and streaming. 20 years ago, the distribution of music hasn’t been exactly this big. Television shows and filmmakers are the top two industries that need music content. Today, there are more and more TV shows, films, commercials, movies, ads and tons of video games that need music content. It is safe to say that the internet opened the public eye about the opportunities involved behind it.

One of the most visited sites on earth is YouTube. People use, duplicate, rework, copy, revise and perform music from different artists around the world. It also has an influx of ads which contains music content. To track all these data, YouTube has a Content ID System. If your music is licensed, you can contact this site and they will take a look at their data and see if your work is being used by other parties. As the licensor, you have the authority to take actions such as mute the audio which matches your music, block a whole video from being viewed, track the video’s viewership statistics or monetize the video by running ads against it. Every country has different rules about it. But YouTube runs a lot of ads and monetizing work from this site is very probable.

If you are an independent musician, you must improve and instill professionalism in your craft to get your chances up of being signed by a music licensing company. With billions of dollars of revenue involved today, you want at least a slice of the pie. Monetizing your passion is never easy but taking the necessary steps to make it work is a must to reach success.

I can teach you more information about music licensing and the secrets behind it. Visit my site, http://silverscreenmusician.com and I guarantee that you will be a step ahead from others with all the information I will share to you. See you there!

Beef Up Your Music Press Kit

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen made by bands and artists today is to under-estimate the importance of a professional promotional kit. Your promo kit, also known as a press kit or media kit is probably one of the single most important elements in an artist’s initial presentation to venues, promoters and most importantly record companies. First-impression is so important in the music business. Some artists just don’t get it! With the major influx of CDs and packages that record companies receive on a daily basis… with most realizing the inside of the trash can at the receptionist’s desk, its vital that your package stands out from the crowd and distinguishes you from the rest as a true professional who’s package is worth reviewing and CD worth listening too.

In preparing your press kit you need to find every element possible that will distinguish you from the masses. Throwing together a bunch of poor quality copies, unprofessional photos and poorly written copy and bio all stuffed in a flimsy folder just isn’t going to cut it. The press kit is a representation and extension of you. If it’s a sloppy heap of papers, that’s exactly how you come off. On the other hand, if it’s a well-organized presentation, you come off as a pro.

Some of the elements that need to be taken into consideration when putting your kit together are things such as theme, concept, and layout. You should come up with a concept and theme for the kit, one that is memorable and basically ties every page together in some form of continuity. A theme could be based on the artists or bands name. For example, if the band’s name is “Orange Freedom” The color scheme could have orange in it, either the paper or text or icons could be oranges. I’m aware this particular example may seem a bit infantile but I think you get the basic idea. Remember you want the band name to be memorable. Just to give you another example, recently we were showcasing one of our acts named “Uncle Plum” in New York City in front of 4 major record labels. The day of the showcase, we had one of our interns travel via cab around the city and deliver a reminder to each A&R and record executive invited to the showcase. Along with the cleverly written reminder invitation to the showcase, she promptly dropped off a basket of plums to each record executive. May sound silly… but it works.

Part of your concept should also be a professionally designed logo. A logo is very important and must be something easily remembered and contain the elements of your overall concept.

Utilization of professional packaging for your media kit is also vitally important. The binder must be strong, and not easily damageable. It wouldn’t hurt to use a binder the same color as the band’s logo once again for continuity. Although these types of portfolios can be expensive… sometimes a few bucks each, it’s definitely money well spent.

A professional photo is definitely a necessity in your kit, maybe even a few photos. If you’re a band, you will need the 8* x 10* B&W glossy of the band and also individual photos of each band member included in the bio section which we’ll discuss later. A high-quality professional photo is a must. Having friends or relatives take a snap -hot won’t cut it either. The photo is an area where you can’t afford to try a save a few bucks. You need to shop around for a professional photographer to do this. I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough. If you have the budget, hiring a professional music industry stylish to touch up your image may not be a bad idea either. Although I realize for most bands this may be cost-prohibitive.

The write-up section should contain two elements; your bio or the band member’s bio; these should be short and to the point. Don’t go nuts with a long detailed biography. Labels and others just don’t have time to read it so they’ll just skip it. There you will possibly lose out on providing information to the kit recipient which may be advantageous to you. Include things like your influences and other experience in the industry. They really don’t care much about your baby picture or what you did when you were six years old unless, of course, you were a child sensation at the time. Your fact sheet; This should contain any favorable press or write-ups you’ve received such as tours, radio airplay, reviews, good sales figures on an independent release, etc. You can also include GOOD COPIES of any articles, interviews or reviews from newspapers or trade magazines. Every page of your press kit should include you or your manager’s contact information and your website URL. Be truthful and keep it all as short and sweet as possible.

Now for the most important element of your kit… Your Music. Include a professionally recorded demo of your absolute best 3 songs. No more than three. The format should be on CD only. Encase your disk in a professionally labeled jewel case which includes your theme, contact information, and logo. It’s important for your CD presentation to be as professional as possible. It’s nice to have a separate pocket in your portfolio to house the CD so there is no chance for it to fall out or get lost. It’s better contained that way. Or as we’ve done on occasion with some of our kits, use Velcro to hold the jewel case on the rear inside portion of the portfolio.

Now in summary, here are the elements to include:

* Create a theme and concept

* Design a professional logo

* Use professional packaging

* 8″ x 10″ Black & White glossy promo photo

* Individual band member photos if applicable

* Artist or band bio

* Fact Sheet… favorable write-ups and quotes

* Additional press… reviews, interviews, articles

* 3 Song CD Demo

Your press kit is your representation of you when you are not there. Don’t take it lightly. Check it thoroughly for errors and content and be diligent. If your kit is special it will stand out and labels, venues, and the music media will take notice. GOOG LUCK!